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Colombia thrashes Greece

Monday, June 16, 2014

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil - James Rodriguez has rounded off a convincing 3-0 win for Colombia over Greece despite the absence of injured striker Radamel Falcao in their opening Group C match at the World Cup.

Full-back Pablo Armero had given the Colombians — appearing at their first finals since 1998 — the lead in the fifth minute while Teofilo Gutierrez's 13th goal for his country shortly before the hour mark wrapped up the three points.

Rodriguez rounded off an impressive performance with a sweet left footed shot in time added on.

Armero's goal was the fastest in Colombia's five appearances at a World Cup finals, beating the 19 minutes it took another defender Francisco Zuluaga to score against Uruguay in the 1962 finals in Chile.

Colombia coach Jose Pekerman, who guided his native Argentina to the quarter-finals in 2006, said he was delighted with the performance.

"We were strong going forward, we had a nice style of play and we created several chances," said the 64-year-old.

"The crucial thing was that everyone did the job they were tasked with and that allowed us to play calmly.

"This result is very important for us and sets us up well for the rest of the group stage."

Greece's Portuguese coach Fernando Santos conceded that the Colombians had been worthy winners.

"They caused us a lot of problems from the opening minutes," he said.

"We did get back into the game and the end result was a little bit unfair."

It took Colombia just five minutes to send their fans wild.

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